Meeting Minutes: March 11, 2004
AttendancePresent: Edward Adelstein, Elizabeth Baker, Bruce Bullock, Rex Campbell, Gordon Christensen, Bruce Cutter, Sara Gable, Judith Goodman, Richard Hessler, Philip Johnson, Michael Kramer, Bill Lamberson, Eric Landes, Sudarshan Loyalka, Michael McKean, Tom Phillips, Eileen Porter, Charles Sampson, David Schenker, Paul Sharp, Don Sievert, Barbara Townsend, Flore Zephir, Herb Tillema (AAUP), Tom Freeman (MURA), and Michael Muchow (Library). Absent: Wilson Freyermuth, Catherine Holland, Tom Marrero, Steven Neal, Jenice Prather-Kinsey, Frank Schmidt, and Adrienne Hoard (Black Faculty and Staff).
Approval of MinutesThe meeting was called to order by Chair, Gordon Christensen at 3:30 p.m. in room S203 Memorial Union. Christensen opened the meeting by reading a passage on "Responsibility" from the University of Missouri-Columbia, "A Statement of Values" authored by Dr. Mel George. Christensen called for approval of the February 26, 2004 Council minutes. The minutes were deferred to the next meeting to allow for careful review by the Council.
Report of OfficersChristensen reported that the Winter Semester General Faculty Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 12, 2004. In addition to Chancellor Richard Wallace attending this meeting, President Elson S. Floyd and Provost Brady Deaton have been asked to attend as well. Floyd will also be attending the May 6, 2004 meeting of the MU Faculty Council.
Christensen described to Council some of the recent problems on this campus with the plus/minus grading system. Sudarshan Loyalka, Intercampus Faculty Council (IFC) representative made a brief report on the progress of the Grievance Task Force. Wilson Freyermuth, Council Website and Faculty Handbook Editor, reported on the current progress with the annual campus and faculty standing committee solicitation process using the interactive Council website for the faculty responses.
Actions ItemsResolution Regarding Renaming of Southwest Missouri State - Christensen. Edward Adelstein assumed the role of Chair pro tempore so as to let Dr. Christensen speak on the second reading of the second resolution regarding Southwest Missouri State University. [At the Council meeting of February 26, 2004 Christensen accepted a friendly amendment to the resolution that added a second clause proposing that Southwest Missouri University join the University of Missouri system. Subsequently, the resolution was divided by a note of the Council separating the new clause from the original resolution. As a consequence of dividing the resolution, the new clause had to be considered as a separate resolution; according to the Faculty Council bylaws, the new resolution required two readings. It returns now for the second reading as an action item.] The resolution read as follows: "Resolved, that the board of Governors of Southwest Missouri State University and the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri System should negotiate inviting Southwest Missouri State University to become the sixth campus of the University of Missouri System." The motion was discussed and failed to pass by unanimous vote.
Discussion Items'03-'04 Representation Report - Christensen. After resuming the role of Chair, Christensen presented the Representation Report for Faculty Council (based on data dated 10-31-03) and the Council accepted the report.
Resolution on HB 911 - Schmidt. The second discussion item, "The MU Faculty Council Resolution Regarding: Missouri House of Representatives Bill HB911 known as the Missouri Standard Science Act," was presented to Council for discussion. Tom Phillips spoke to the resolution in the absence of Frank Schmidt. Bruce Bullock spoke against the resolution, stating that this was not an appropriate topic for the Council to consider. [Dr. Bullock's comments reflected written comments from two members of the MU faculty that were provided to the members of Council in their meeting packet.] David Schenker responded by stating that it was inappropriate for the state legislature to consider legislation regarding the content of primary and secondary school curricula. His comments prompted several members to agree that it was reasonable for the Council to consider this issue on the basis of government interference with curricula. Herbert Tillema noted that the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) had passed a resolution opposing this bill HB911. Eileen Porter noted that HB911 was not progressing through the Missouri State Legislature, so perhaps it was not necessary for this Council to address this issue. There was general agreement that the resolution should be focused on the issue of legislative interference in the academic curriculum rather than the specific issues of evolution and creative design. The group asked that Schmidt revise the resolution to focus on curricular issues and return the resolution for action at the next Council meeting.
Ballot Instrument for Changes to the Grievance Policy - Loyalka. The draft ballot instrument for a faculty vote to change the current faculty grievance process was discussed. One of the changes proposed involved a rewriting of Section M. On the ballot instrument the following friendly amendments were made. (1) Add the following statement: "Encourage faculty members who are considering filing a grievance to first use the Campus Mediation Service". (2) Change the title to read: "MU Academic Grievance Procedure".
Resolution from Student Affairs on Closing Rollins Ave. - Townsend. Barbara Townsend, chair of Student Affairs Standing Committee, introduced the following resolution from her committee.
- "MU Faculty Council Resolution Regarding Closing Rollins Avenue to Vehicular Access
- Whereas the campus is growing to the south and to the east of the academic core, and increased pedestrian traffic is anticipated in the area of Rollins Avenue, and
- Whereas pedestrian safety is of concern in the area of Rollins Avenue, and
- Whereas the MU Administration is considering creating a pedestrian quad in this area; be it
- Resolved that the Faculty Council of the University of Missouri-Columbia express to the administration its support of the proposal to close off Rollins Avenue between Maryland Avenue and Hitt Street to vehicular traffic in keeping with the pedestrian campus policy that is applied to 9th and Conley Street, i.e. Temporary closing each week day school is in session."
Townsend then introduced the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Kathy Scroggs, to discuss the proposal. Dr. Scroggs raised the issue of safety and the fact that the students requested the closing of this street. This concern has been addressed to the master planner, Terry Chaplain. Apparently, this decision involves specific actions by the City of Columbia. Council was reminded of the broader safety issues involved in the closing of access to the University of Missouri Hospital and Clinics and altering of traffic patterns. Scroggs emphasized that the resolution was to develop a pilot program, which is almost a year away from possible implementation. Dr. Campbell noted that while he favored the motion, he anticipated problems with getting the City of Columbia to accept this proposal. Phillips noted that passing this motion would "land-lock" the biology building (Tucker Hall). He called for vigorous enforcement of current traffic and parking regulations, expecting that this would help alleviate some of the problems. Sara Gable noted that she was in favor of the resolution, commenting that recently a graduate student had been struck while crossing Rollins. A motion was made and seconded to suspend the rules to consider the resolution as an action item. The motion passed unanimously. The resolution was then moved and seconded. The resolution passed unanimously.
Resolution from Student Affairs on Creation of Common Hour -Townsend. Townsend then discussed the possibility of introducing a "common hour" during which no classes would be scheduled. This would allow time for meetings to take place more easily and provide an opportunity for students to attend guest lectures. This proposal had been strongly endorsed by the Chair of the Committee on Committees. If passed this would not go into effect until 2005. This would allow appropriate scheduling to take place. A great deal of discussion took place and multiple problems were discussed. Flora Zephir suggested that this "common hour" should be for one to one and one-half hours and Townsend agreed. Charles Sampson commented that while he was in favor of this resolution, such arrangements generally only worked for small campuses, not large universities. Phillips noted that the proposal would interfere with scheduling of laboratories. In general, the Faculty Council felt that there were many problems that would occur unique to specific programs. The resolution was returned to the Student Affairs Committee for further study and possible revision.
Honors Council - Lamberson. Bill Lamberson, Chair Academic Affairs Committee, discussed the first reading of some proposed changes to the Honors College charge. Lamberson noted that Stuart Palonsky had clarified the impact of the changes on the General Education program. In a short discussion, the members pointed out two minor editorial changes in the distributed document. Under section 1.f., the phrase "Missouri Scholars Program" should be struck and in the introductory paragraph for section 3, the parenthetical entry, "(The Missouri Scholars Program or other name...)" should be struck.
Article VI - Academic Integrity - Lamberson. Lamberson then opened a discussion of the academic integrity policy. Lamberson noted the conflict between the instructor and the Provost's office over how to respond to a suspected cheating. He said there needs to be clarification of the concept of academic dishonesty and the rules of engagement. Provost Deaton recommended the following. (1) There should be no use of grades as punishment. (2) The faculty has the option to notify and meet with the student over a suspected incident of academic dishonesty. If the instructor and the student agree that academic dishonesty occurred and they agree on the punishment, then the Provost's office may be bypassed. In the event of academic dishonesty, the provost's Office can name additional punishments.
During discussion, many members spoke against this proposal, stating that the instructor should be able to respond to suspected cheating with a poor grade. The Council members expressed concern that the proposed policy, particularly section 6, removed the instructor for the process. In the view of many, this role was a matter of the academic freedom of the instructor to have the sole authority to grade the work of the student regardless of whether or not the charge of academic dishonesty had been upheld. Members also criticized the proposed policy for not providing the student with clear avenues to deny an allegation of dishonesty. Specifically criticized was the line in the proposed, "Academic Violation Report", option A that read: "I admit to committing academic dishonesty..." It was suggested that this should be changed to: "I recognize that I have been accused of academic dishonesty..." Likewise, it was suggested that an option of "no action" should be added to the punitive actions listed under section 8.
Standing Committee ReportsFaculty Affairs: Philip Johnson, chair, reported that his group is meeting to discuss issues regarding non-regular faculty. The group is also discussing the RADIL controversy.
Special Projects: Bruce Cutter, chair, reported that his group is working to submit a revision of the faculty bylaws in the Collected Rules and Regulations of the University of Missouri that would bring the names of the named academic units up-to-date.
Any Other Business (AOB)Christensen announced that the new Transfer Admission Policy could not be implemented before the Fall of 2006. He noted that a prior revision of the Transfer Admission Policy was never adopted because it was lost. Christensen added that Council needed to contact the Director of Admissions in order to follow-up on the implementation of the new policy.
Mike McKean inquired if there had been any faculty response to the article by Tony Messenger of the Columbia Daily Tribune. The article reported that certain students in the music program were prevented from attending an intercollegiate competition because the Director of the Music Department required their services for a benefit for Chancellor Wallace. Messenger also reported that this action might have been intended as a punishment against a specific member of the Music faculty who had registered some complaints. Christensen replied that he had spoken to Wallace and Deaton about this issue as well as written to the faculty member and the Director of the Music Program, Melvin Platt about this issue. Both Wallace and Deaton reported that they were not aware of this problem prior to the newspaper report. Since the report, they have taken steps to ensure that the students would have an opportunity to compete. The faculty member involved is pursuing his complaints through appropriate channels.
AdjournmentThe meeting moved into a closed session for committee nominations. The meeting was then adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
Edward Adelstein, Recorder